The Paris Agreement, also known as the French Climate Change Agreement, is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. It was adopted on December 12, 2015, at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Paris, France.
The main goal of the Paris Agreement is to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with the aim of pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. To achieve this, the Agreement requires countries to set their own nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and regularly update them every five years.
As of October 2021, 192 countries and the European Union have ratified the Paris Agreement, representing 96% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The United States, the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, formally rejoined the Agreement on February 19, 2021, after withdrawing under the previous administration.
The Paris Agreement has been widely praised as a landmark achievement and a turning point in global efforts to address climate change. However, there are also criticisms that the Agreement`s commitments are not ambitious enough and that it lacks enforcement mechanisms.
Despite the challenges, the Paris Agreement remains a crucial step towards a sustainable future and a strong signal of global cooperation on climate change. With continued effort and commitment from all parties, the Agreement has the potential to support the transition towards a low-carbon economy and a more resilient and equitable world.